When one goes to Rio, there is just so much to see that there is something for everyone. For nature lovers, the Botanic Garden also known as the Jardim Botanico was a garden that was opened for the public in 1822. This same garden was a discovery in 1808 by John VI from Portugal.
This tropical haven is located in the north of Ipanema and Leblon, and in the south of Lake Rodrigo de Freitas. No air is sweeter than the air in the Botanic Garden, as you walk inside, you can smell the fragrance of the flowers and the fruit trees.
If you think that this place is silent all year round, like they say the Rio Carnival infects everyone. During the carnival week, a street band called the Suvaco do Cristo or the Armpit of Christ hosts their parties in the streets of the Jardim Botanico.
This place falls right under the right armpit of the Christ the Redeemer Statue, hence the name of the band.
The Hidden Paradise
The Botanic Garden is a hidden paradise found inside the hustle and bustle of Rio.
This 338 acres of land is home to 2,600 species of plant life and wildlife such as Toucans, Marmoset Monkeys and different species of butterflies.
A short and slow stroll inside the Botanic Garden will surely eliminate all types of stress. One will surely notice the unique entrance of the garden which is filled with a row of palm trees on both sides of the pathway which eventually lead to a fountain.
One small trivia about these palm trees is that they all came from a single tree called the Palma Master which was destroyed when lightning struck it.
Plants from all round the World
It’s no wonder that UNESCO declared the Botanic Garden as a biosphere reserve since 1992; the place is filled with hundreds of species of flora and fauna.
As you take a look around the garden, you will notice that some of the plants come from places from around the world. One part of the garden that will truly catch your attention is the Japanese themed garden which has cherry trees, bamboo, bonsai, a lake filled with carp, and different ornate sculptures.
You will also notice some plants such as pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, and other spices that all come from the East Indies.
Aside from the lush flora found in the area, it is also home to curious howler monkeys and marmosets.
How to get around the garden
To get to the Botanic Garden, all you have to do is to board the Bus 125 that departs from Copacabana.
Once you get to the garden, you have to pay the $5 entrance fee and the whole garden is yours to discover for the day.
Once you enter the garden, you will be given a leaflet and a map so that you would know where to go next; visitor centers are available in the area so you will always have someone to ask in case you get lost inside.
For those who can’t walk for long hours, electric car tours are available. Aside from the hundreds of species of flora in the garden, it is also home to over 140 species of birds, and insectivore greenhouse, and a gunpowder factory.